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TransUnion's iovation study shows online fraudsters focused on mobile

A new report by iovation, a TransUnion Co. company, said that online fraud is increasingly focused on mobile, as consumers increasingly turn towards mobile for activity ranging from shopping to banking and other transactions. 

The report, called the 2019 Financial Services Fraud and Consumer Trust Report, shows fraud activity is increasingly based on fraudsters using mobile devices to focus on mobile transactions, reflecting a surge in use as mobile devices account for 61% of all online activity by consumers this year, compared with 28% in 2014.

Molly Hetz, manager at iovation, told Mobile Payments Today that fraudsters are using either their own mobile devices or using emulators from a desktop computer to make it appear like they are using an actual mobile device, as many legitimate online transactions now originate on mobile phones. 

"In the first half of 2019, iovation saw 50% of suspected fraudulent activity appear to originate from mobile devices, up from 41% in 2018 and 21% in 2017," Hetz said via email, saying that in two years the use of mobile more than doubled. "The fraudsters are using mobile devices to conduct a wide range of schemes, from making online purchases with stolen credit cards to using someone else's credentials for account takeover."

The report also shows that trust and security are very important factors in the choices consumers make when they choose a bank or financial institution for general banking or credit card use. 

The survey shows 72% of consumers say account security and privacy determine which financial institution they will use. In addition, 64% of consumers say they will switch financial services companies if they can provide stronger security protocols. Lastly, 39% of consumers say they have closed an account due to concerns about fraud and account security. 

The report is based on an analysis of billions of online transactions that iovation and TransUnion screened for fraud, plus a survey of 1,604 consumers in the U.S. and U.K. 

Cover image: iovation